Grimsby Town Football Club are delighted to announce that defender, Mattie Pollock has signed his first professional contract with the club.
The 17-year-old has put pen to paper on a two-and-a-half year contract with the club, keeping him at Blundell Park until June 2021.
Pollock joined the Academy system at GTFC in the summer 2018 as a first year scholar, but his continued progression and eye-catching performances have ensured the club act quickly to secure his services for the future.
Fresh after signing his deal with the club, we caught up with Mattie to discuss his deal and his ambitions. "It's the best feeling I've had!", said Pollock. "To finally get it done is great and I am so happy to sign for this club and I will be keeping my head down, keep working hard and see what comes of it".
Pollock has featured a number of times in the first team squad this season, making his debut as a substitute against high flying Exeter City against Jayden Stockley, one of the league's leading strikers at the time. "It was hard going in against him, but the lads collectively all dug in together, got a result and everybody helped me settle down and ease into it. At the time, it was up there with the best experiences of my life, joint with today but I loved every minute of it".
"My ambitions are firstly with the 18's, if we can we need to try and win the league, keep our momentum going and also get in with the First Team as many times as possible and obviously next year, try and get into the squad and stick around it. I don't want to just be in and out of it, I want to be a permanent fixture in that squad and try and get into the team".
Pollock has been part of a number of clubs in the past, with The Mariners being the first club to offer him terms within the Academy system, something that Pollock will forever be grateful for. "All the staff, the coaches, everyone associated with the club made me feel so welcome when I first joined, it's almost as if I was made to be here and it's been absolutely quality since day one."
"Not just the Academy side of things, but going over to the First Team when it comes to training, they don't make you feel like you don't belong, they make me feel welcome every time I go over to train which is important and i'm so grateful to be given the opportunity. I'm going to keep working at it, keep trying my hardest to make going in with the First Team a regular thing and I'm looking forward to what will come and hopefully showing the fans what I can do as well more regularly.
Pollock's manager in the Academy, Neil Woods was full of praise towards the young defender not only for his performances, but also his attitude on and off the pitch. "I'm absolutely delighted for him", said Woods.
"He became a regular in the Youth Team at 16, he held his own and beyond that. His attitude since coming in has been fantastic, he is the first in every day, the last to leave, he does extra sessions, he has shown a fabulous attitude to want to succeed and I think he has got his reward for what he's done at this moment in time".
"First of all, through the years managers have said that they're going to call people up and put them in and start them. Sometimes, you have a little bit of trepidation, you know the kid more than most people do but with Mattie, there was no doubt with me. He is very strong minded, a good competitor, a good footballer but mentally, he is ready for it, he is driven so there was never a concern when they said they were going to put him on the bench."
"I didn't go down to Exeter but by all the reports, he held his own and a little bit better than that. Again, showing the character of the lad it has not affected him one bit since he has come back, he's played Reserve games, he trained with the First Team and he has also come back and played on a Saturday morning for the 18's and you wouldn't have known he had made the step up except for a little bit more confidence in his ability with backing himself a bit more. Other than that, he is a level headed lad who just wants to play football!"
Manager, Michael Jolley spoke exclusively to gtfc.co.uk to discuss the youngster penning his first deal with the club. "We are delighted to agree this first professional contract with Mattie", said Jolley. "He has been involved with the first team on numerous occasions and impressed everyone with his contribution".
"He certainly has a great deal of potential and therefore we are very pleased to secure his future with Grimsby Town. This is another indication of the fine work being done by our Academy, so congratulations must also go to Neil and his staff for helping Matt reach this point".